Video as a means of communication between people has been with us for over a decade, but it hadn’t made it mainstream yet. It seems like there is evidence of that changing.Technology wise, we are almost there: We now have the processing power, bandwidth and knowledge of how to build a video system enabling people to interact in real-time and provide good quality of experience. Only problem is, video telephony is not taking off as much as it should, but I think this is about to change due to 2 trends that are starting to show – opposite ones.
Enterprises can use video telephony technology today. You can go out and purchase room systems and pricy endpoints for your executives, you can decide to use one of many video desktop clients that are out there. Only problem is – these systems are either too pricy or low in video quality.
This is about to change, as new companies, such as Samsung with their SyncMaster 220TN are entering the market of video conferencing in enterprises with a goal of providing high quality video products in a fraction of the price of today’s systems.
Let’s call this type of communications a “lean forward” type, where people lean towards their LCD display. It requires more concentration and it fits well into a work environment.
Someone told me once that people start using technology in the office only after they find it useful in their daily life. This may be one of the causes why video didn’t catch too much at the workplace (I myself find it more than just useful to dial from my office to one of our offices in the US or Asia and see who I am talking to). So the solution in this case would be to acquaint people with video telephony in their home. Companies are starting to do it today by adding this technology to set top boxes.
In this case, cable operators will be adding the service to their customers, allowing people to dial others from the comfort of their living room. If you are to use video for conversations at your home, then why not in the enterprise?
This type of communications is a “lean backwards” type, where people will be sitting comfortably in their living room and watch their loved ones on TV. It’s the social type of using video conferencing.
I’ll be more than happy to be able to watch my baby girl when I’m out at work – or better yet – in one of my business trips abroad. I am using video as means to communicate within my company, as we do have that technology installed and available for all employees – having said that, I’d like it to be available for my conversations with potential customers, existing customers and with business partners.
These 2 trends in the enterprise and consumer markets need to grow and prosper in parallel. When that will happen, video as means to communicate will become commonplace.